Smokies Fishing Report

abrams creek
meter smokies fishing report

Location

Smoky Mountains

Water Levels

Little River: 585cfs / 2.78 feet
Pigeon: 1180cfs / 2.99 feet
Oconaluftee: 1140cfs / 2.69 feet

Water Temperatures (approximate)

Low elevations: 42 – 45 degrees
Mid elevations: 40 – 44 degrees
High elevations: 34 – 37 degrees

Current Conditions

Streams in the mountains are still running a little on the high side. They have been slowly, steadily dropping the last few days, but today’s rain may have something to say about that. Water temperatures are still well below ideal but they’re what you’d expect for February.

Projected Conditions

The week ahead is looking promising with a nice warm-up expected and we may see some “okay” fishing by the end of the week. Remember that it takes time for those water temperatures to come up and one or two warm afternoons won’t have much impact. We need a string of warmer days and more important, warmer overnights. Those overnight lows will have the biggest impact on water temperature this time of year.

The biggest x-factor right now is the rain that we are getting right now. As long as it doesn’t give water levels too much of a spike, I think you may see some decent days by the weekend.

Tips

In general, you want to seek out slower water and you want to fish the warmest water possible right now. Try to concentrate your efforts on the middle of the day, stick to the lower elevations and look for areas that get a little more sunlight. Fishing high water can be tough and it can be dangerous. Keep an eye on those water levels. It’s not an exact science but typically, I consider around 2.5′ on the gauge to be the high side of good. Ideally, you want it more around 2′. Between 2.5′ and 3′ might give you a little bit of manageable water in very select locations, but you better know what you’re doing. Above 3′ will leave you very little fishable water and is really just unsafe.

Hatches/Fly Suggestions

There is very little in the way of hatches this time of year but you may run into the occasional Blue Wing Olive. Small dark stoneflies and caddis may also make an appearance. Most everything coming off the water will be small, in the #18 – 20 range. I would primarily fish dark colored nymphs deep and slow. A black or olive Zebra Midge would be a good bet. I do well with “peacock flies” in the #14 – 16 range this time of year, like Zug Bugs, Prince Nymphs, etc. In the right water, a larger stonefly nymph may entice a nice brown trout.

Featured Fly

girdle bug
Girdle Bug

Smokies Fishing Report

Date of Report

February 15, 2021

Location

Smoky Mountains

Water Levels

Little River: 777cfs / 3.06 feet
Pigeon: 1660cfs / 3.42 feet
Oconaluftee: 1390cfs / 2.95 feet

Water Temperatures (approximate)

Low elevations: 44 – 47 degrees
Mid elevations: 37 – 40 degrees
High elevations: 32 degrees

Current Conditions

Conditions haven’t changed much since last report and are what you’d likely expect in February. Water temperatures are way below ideal and fishing is very slow. Streams are running high on the Tennessee side of the park from recent rainfall. Use extra caution as some of the bigger streams may be difficult to wade. Most streams on the North Carolina side are a little lower but still running high. Water temperatures are running slightly higher on the North Carolina side as well.

Projected Conditions

It doesn’t look like we’ll see much improvement in the coming week. With air temperatures remaining cold and rain expected almost every day, it’s more likely things are going to get worse!

Tips

In general, you want to seek out slower water and you want to fish the warmest water possible right now. Try to concentrate your efforts on the middle of the day, stick to the lower elevations and look for areas that get a little more sunlight. Remember, water that is too cold makes for slow fishing but water that is too high makes for very dangerous fishing. Unless you know these streams really well, I wouldn’t mess with them at this level. If you do have a lot of experience on these streams, please be very careful!

Hatches/Fly Suggestions

There is very little in the way of hatches this time of year but you may run into the occasional Blue Wing Olive. Small dark stoneflies and caddis may also make an appearance. Most everything coming off the water will be small, in the #18 – 20 range. I would primarily fish dark colored nymphs deep and slow. A black or olive Zebra Midge would be a good bet. I do well with “peacock flies” in the #14 – 16 range this time of year, like Zug Bugs, Prince Nymphs, etc. In the right water, a larger stonefly nymph may entice a nice brown trout.

Featured Fly

Girdle Bug

Smokies Fishing Report

Date of Report

February 8, 2021

Location

Smoky Mountains

Water Levels

Little River: 392cfs / 2.44 feet
Pigeon: 843cfs / 2.62 feet
Oconaluftee: 545cfs / 1.94 feet

Water Temperatures (approximate)

Low elevations: 37 – 40 degrees
Mid elevations: 33 – 36 degrees
High elevations: 32 degrees

Current Conditions

Conditions are what you’d likely expect in February. Water temperatures are way below ideal and fishing is very slow. Streams are running full on the Tennessee side of the park from recent rainfall. Use extra caution as some of the bigger streams may be difficult to wade. Most streams on the North Carolina side are at normal flows and will be easier to navigate. However, water temperatures are a little colder on the NC side as well, so pick your poison!

Projected Conditions

We get a pretty nice warm-up through the week, but as that warm-up melts high elevation snow, don’t expect much in the way of warming water temperatures. That warming trend also comes with what may be significant rainfall, so water levels may come up substantially after Thursday. And another cold front with snow expected over the weekend.

Tips

Other than seeking out slower water, you want to fish the warmest water possible right now. Try to concentrate your efforts on the middle of the day, stick to the lower elevations and look for areas that get a little more sunlight.

Hatches/Fly Suggestions

There is very little in the way of hatches this time of year but you may run into the occasional Blue Wing Olive. Small dark stoneflies and caddis may also make an appearance. Most everything coming off the water will be small, in the #18 – 20 range. I would primarily fish dark colored nymphs deep and slow. A black or olive Zebra Midge would be a good bet. I do well with “peacock flies” in the #14 – 16 range this time of year, like Zug Bugs, Prince Nymphs, etc. In the right water, a larger stonefly nymph may entice a nice brown trout.

Featured Fly

Zug Bug